The Botanical Ingredients That Work
What are the best skingredients for us to use in skincare, and should we be prioritising the natural ingredients that work? Sometimes it can seem like we’re torn between two lovers, dividing our loyalties between natural skincare products and more clinically tested, approved and formulated ingredients.
The Skingredients range is a fairly good example of a happy marriage of botanical and natural ingredients as well as more scientific, lab-processed and white-coated ingredients and formulations which do an excellent job at correcting skin concerns. Skingredients is all about balance, so it makes sense that we’re taking a little from column A and a little from column B.
What Are Botanical Ingredients?
Botanical ingredients are ingredients which are used in cosmetic products which originate from plants and herbs – i.e. the OG skincare ingredients which folks have been using since we wanted to look fresh to death hunting and gathering, bb. We’ve refined them and redefined their use over the years, but we’re still using a lot of the same botanical ingredients that people have been using for thousands of years to soothe our own particular skincare concerns.
he natural ingredients that work wonders on your skin can be prepared any number of ways. The ingredients could be ground up, juiced or have the oil extracted with the addition of a solvent.
Natural, unlike organic, is not a regulated term, and therefore can be applied to products without needing to undergo the testing and certification needed by bona-fide organic products. Natural or botanical is therefore not always a marker of value – few truly natural ingredients are required for companies to assert that their products are natural.
What Botanical Ingredients Are In Skingredients?
Skingredients is still packed with botanical bits which do their job mightily.
As we’ve found, botanical extracts are a great way to introduce powerful antioxidants into formulations. Skingredients Skin Veg and Skingredients Skin Protein are both great examples of getting in the antioxidant power wherever we can. Antioxidants are Power Rangers for your body (and your skin, too – probably the Pink Power Ranger, to be honest) which fight the effects of free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules which get introduced into our bodies as a result of lifestyle and environment. They stick around and weaken elastin and collagen in your skin, which can contribute to premature ageing – yikes. Antioxidants are the handy bits that help to neutralise these baddies and do a good job of brightening your skin and bringing down inflammation – so they don’t really have a downside! And helpfully, botanical ingredients, such as those we use in Skingredients, are a really helpful source of antioxidants.
Skingredients Skin Veg, for example, is something of a botanical powerhouse, crammed with veg extracts which pack a powerful punch. It’s got broccoli, tomato and radish extract to name but a few, which are all high in antioxidants.
It’s also got liquorice root extract for another antioxidant boost as well as bringing skin soothing and anti-ageing benefits along with it. Skin Veg is number 2 in your regime and works as a great serum penetrant enhancer, as well as bringing lots of good antioxidant power into your skin.
Skingredients Skin Protein might have a reputation as a tough cookie, all about upping your vitamin A game, but it’s got plenty of botanical boosts in it on top of all the good vitamins. It contains rooibos and green tea extracts, which are both powerful antioxidants. Skin Protein has another rockstar botanical skingredient – and that’s sunflower seed oil.
Sunflower seeds are both delicious AND good for you (rich in vitamin B Complex, just sayin’), but sunflower seed oil is hydrating and rich in essential fatty acids – essential all year around but has a particular spotlight on it during wintertime, when skin can become dry and easily irritated.
Some skincare marvels occur when botanical meets boffin – i.e. when we take an ingredient with a botanical origin and see what scientists can do to get the greatest effect from it. It may come from botanical roots, but Skingredients Sally Cleanse’s rockstar ingredient of salicylic acid is very much laboratory created.
Salicylic acid is a great example of how botanically sourced ingredients can be refined and synthesised in laboratory conditions to become even more powerful skincare superstars. It is derived from the willow plant, making it a witchy favourite as well as a skincare heavyweight. Salicylic acid in its willow form has been used to treat inflammation and skin conditions for thousands of years (aspirin is also derived from willow).
It’s used in Sally Cleanse to provide chemical exfoliation for congested or acne-prone skin. Flower power is real – even if salicylic acid isn’t technically derived from flowers. Still. You know what we mean.
Salicylic acid works by dissolving plugs of dead skin which could block pores, and reducing congestion by clearing these pores of excess sebum, makeup, and SPF which might cause breakouts if not cause breakouts.
As an acid, you might be forgiven for thinking that it sounds very clinical, and not very holistic at all, but it’s still coming from a botanical background. It’s a really fundamental skincare staple, and is a cheer-leader in the face of anyone doubting botanical credentials.
Should I Use The Natural Ingredients That Work Better?
A loaded question indeed. Take Skingredients Skin Veg for example. If we can get all of that excellent antioxidant protection from botanical extracts, why wouldn’t we? Skingredients is a results-based skincare regime, so we’re always adamant on seeing results and this means that our formulations must add up to improved skin appearance and health.
Our diets are incredibly important when it comes to getting all of the good stuff into our bodies to feed our skin from the inside out – so when we can topically apply the same good stuff to the skin, it could hardly be a bad thing.
As we’ve talked about before, skincare scaremongering is a real thing, and when your eyes are open to it, the conversation around natural skincare vs. those which contains sulphates, parabens and other preservatives can become a little personal. It’s important to note that just like the term ‘clinically proven’, ‘natural’ is not a protected term when it comes to cosmetics, so you can’t rely on this as being a guarantee of their credentials.
Peptides exist in nature – they’re simply a chain of amino acids – and in our bodies, but the peptide included in Skingredients is made in labs and is clinically-proven to reduce the appearances of lines with continuous use!
Of course, we do use plenty of clinically tested ingredients in the Skingredients range (you can ask us all about these, if you fancy), and as is the case in a lot of skincare, many of these ingredients are botanically derived themselves.
One of the rockstar ingredients in Skin Good Fats is a compound called Drago-calm which is an anti-irritant compound which is derived from oats. This is an ingredient which has been developed in a laboratory, but still has a base in the botanical world.
It’s important to remember that neither natural nor botanical is a buzzword for better – when you’re making decisions about what skincare suits you, it’s important to consider what you consider your own particular skincare concerns, how your skin reacts to certain ingredients, and what effect you’re attempting to achieve by changing or supplementing other products in your skincare regime.
The natural ingredients that work are still being used in formulations thousands of years after their discovery – but there’s room for new skincare superstars, too.
If you’re still wondering how best to go about getting that botanical goodness onto your skin with your ideal Skingredients routine, then fear not – we’ve got you sorted. You can read our guide to your Skingredients Routine here!
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